Contrail. A Module from the Physical Chemistry On-Line Project


The condensation trail, or contrail, that trails behind a jet plane is an everyday observable phenomenon. These manmade cirrus clouds can persist for hours, or even days and can spread over thousands of square kilometers. This is a concern because clouds are major variables that control Earth's atmospheric temperature and climate. Understanding the impact of contrails on Earth's climate is an active area of research. Further, contrail formation can be examined in terms of the operative thermodynamic phenomena. The process of contrail formation involves combustion, cooling, and ice formation, all common topics in the undergraduate physical chemistry curriculum. The project when it is subdivided into separate manageable subjects is a good, comprehensive exercise for physical chemistry students.
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Contrail. A Module from the Physical Chemistry On-Line Project   
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